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automated kilns

updated wed 9 jul 08

 

Tony Ferguson on mon 7 jul 08


To add to what Bill has said,

I fired a 31 cubic foot DLB-18 http://www.kilns.com/geilpg6.htm (has been used on a bi weekly basis for 19 years--I check the order dates and serial number) when I was a sabbatical replacement for a year. It is, was the best and easiest kiln I have ever fired hands down. Compared to what I have fired at other schools including graduate school, and private studios, Geil's kiln, as Bill said, are the best designed manufactured kilns out there.

I could not say enough great things about that kiln and the consistent results. I want one. It could also be fired in 8 to 10 hours like Bill mentioned and had a high soak limit controller--you don't need the computer controlled in my opinion.

I do not get any kick back by the way from Geil. That kiln, by the way, is the one Tom Coleman uses, except his is fiber.

Tony Ferguson


William & Susan Schran User wrote: On 7/7/08 6:27 PM, "Bill Merrill" wrote:

> Reduction starts at 6:30 Am and the kiln is shut off at 5:00 PM. Yes, the
> kiln stays in reduction from 1650 degrees to shut off in reduction. I usually
> reduce at least 10 hours. If you were to use an oxygen probe, the one I use
> to show students reduction and what to do and look for ( reads .65)

We have a Geil DLB 24, IFB kiln, 24 cu. Ft. stacking space at school.

When I first began firing this kiln, I still had the notions from the 1970's
about firing a gas fueled kiln in reduction - lots of back pressure &
smoke.

I soon learned this kiln is so well designed that I was working against
firing it in an economical fashion to get desired results.

I now have the primaries on the 8 burners set and never touch them.
I slowly increase gas pressure, but only up to about half the pressure
suggested by the manufacturer.
I set the damper at a certain setting and pull it out about a 1/4" - 1/2"
when the kiln gets to about 2000F to help even out the temp top. to bottom.
Kiln naturally settles into reduction around 1800F - back pressure at
bottom spy hole. Very little cloudiness inside kiln and no flame or smoke at
stack.

The kiln now is like a government or corporate worker, it fires 9am - 5pm,
without a lunch break.

Get good results: shino, celadon, reds positioned anywhere in the kiln.

Continually amazed how easy it is to fire and great glaze results.
It did take me several firings though to get it figured out.
Much of the repeatable results were due in part learning how to stack the
kiln.
Fires almost like a programmable kiln...

Bill

--
William "Bill" Schran
wschran@cox.net
wschran@nvcc.edu
http://www.creativecreekartisans.com




Tony Ferguson
315 N. Lake Ave. Apt 312
Duluth, MN 55806
...where the sky meets the lake...

Artist, Educator, Photographer, Film Maker, Web Meister
fergyart@yahoo.com
(218) 727-6339
http://www.tonyferguson.net

Bill Merrill on mon 7 jul 08


Automated gas kilns are being used at Rhode Island School of Design. =
Larry Bush, head of the ceramics department there said there were so =
many non ceramic students, that the school has more than on of the =
Blauuw fully automated gas kilns so all the work can be fired. I =
understand that they are extremely costly, however the kiln give a fast =
turnaround and fires economically. The Blauuw kiln are on the Net. =
Check them out. They are a very interesting design.

=20

Where I teach, I have put a Partlow 6000 micro processor coupled with an =
adjustable valve and motor. The microprocessor reads the thermocouple =
and closes the valve or opens the valve to adjust the gas. I manually =
fire up to 600 degrees F. and set the high temp point to hold at 1650 =
degrees. . At that point I shut off the programmer and manually set =
the gas and damper. I start reduction at that point and the kiln slowly =
climbs to cone 9 =BD.. I do very little adjusting of the burners and =
damper. The last portion of the firing I fire in a clean clear =
atmosphere. When I end the firing I pull the damper a little and cool =
the kiln 20 degrees. Then the damper is closed and the burner ports are =
covered with brick and Kaowool. The kiln cools slowly and both glossy =
and matt glazes are extremely good.

=20

Reduction starts at 6:30 Am and the kiln is shut off at 5:00 PM. Yes, =
the kiln stays in reduction from 1650 degrees to shut off in reduction. =
I usually reduce at least 10 hours. If you were to use an oxygen probe, =
the one I use to show students reduction and what to do and look for ( =
reads .65)=20

=20

I don't use the oxyprobe except in teaching. They are great for that!!

=20

This was a project I did out of convenience for me. Students are taught =
reduction etc. by learning what to look for at the spy holes etc. Oh =
what a fun life I have had. It is very rewarding to see these potters =
fire there own kiln. Talk about excitement.

=20

Bill

gary navarre on mon 7 jul 08


Hay Folks,

My pal Rick and I were talking about these oxygen sensors (isn't it actually sensing the co2) we can now use in ceramics and he wondered if they are anything like what is in the exhaust system of automobiles? There was a thread in clayart a while back but I didn't pay it much attention because I didn't think I'd ever own one and since I fire with wood am more concerned with getting a relatively even temperature and reduction is more luck than skill. Do you suppose inserting one in the stack near the exit flue would give me a useful reading?


--- On Mon, 7/7/08, Bill Merrill wrote:

> I don't use the oxyprobe except in teaching. They are
> great for that!!
>
>
>
> This was a project I did out of convenience for me.
> Students are taught reduction etc. by learning what to look
> for at the spy holes etc.

Is that the slight tongue of flame coming out when the plug is in? I hear it is not a good idea to pull the plug and stick your eye about an inch from the hole so I wonder where is a good place to stand when looking at the kiln heat? I knew a guy who could stand 10 feet away and tell if it is done.

Oh what a fun life I have had.
> It is very rewarding to see these potters fire there own
> kiln. Talk about excitement.
>
>
>
> Bill

Let us hope they don't fall for thinking they can earn a living at pottery.

Well it started raining folks so I can't work on the kiln, guess I'll go catch an eight'o'clock meeting... stay in there eh!


Gary Navarre
Navarre Pottery
Navarre Enterprises
Norway, Michigan, USA
http://www.youtube.com/GindaUP
http://public.fotki.com/GindaUP/

William & Susan Schran User on mon 7 jul 08


On 7/7/08 6:27 PM, "Bill Merrill" wrote:

> Reduction starts at 6:30 Am and the kiln is shut off at 5:00 PM. Yes, th=
e
> kiln stays in reduction from 1650 degrees to shut off in reduction. I us=
ually
> reduce at least 10 hours. If you were to use an oxygen probe, the one I =
use
> to show students reduction and what to do and look for ( reads .65)

We have a Geil DLB 24, IFB kiln, 24 cu. Ft. stacking space at school.

When I first began firing this kiln, I still had the notions from the 1970'=
s
about firing a gas fueled kiln in reduction - lots of back pressure &
smoke.

I soon learned this kiln is so well designed that I was working against
firing it in an economical fashion to get desired results.

I now have the primaries on the 8 burners set and never touch them.
I slowly increase gas pressure, but only up to about half the pressure
suggested by the manufacturer.
I set the damper at a certain setting and pull it out about a 1/4" - 1/2"
when the kiln gets to about 2000=B0F to help even out the temp top. to bottom=
.
Kiln naturally settles into reduction around 1800=B0F - back pressure at
bottom spy hole. Very little cloudiness inside kiln and no flame or smoke a=
t
stack.

The kiln now is like a government or corporate worker, it fires 9am - 5pm,
without a lunch break.

Get good results: shino, celadon, reds positioned anywhere in the kiln.

Continually amazed how easy it is to fire and great glaze results.
It did take me several firings though to get it figured out.
Much of the repeatable results were due in part learning how to stack the
kiln.
Fires almost like a programmable kiln...

Bill

--=20
William "Bill" Schran
wschran@cox.net
wschran@nvcc.edu
http://www.creativecreekartisans.com